These days, it’s hard to say exactly what sets EV maker X from EV maker Y apart from their branding exercises, which are often quite overt and a bit annoying. The MyKar is one EV that we should give some attention to, not because of its modest non-branding, but because of its Malaysian roots.
In case you haven’t noticed, Asia is awash with tech talent. China, especially, has more smartphone and electric vehicle start-ups than there are weeds in an abandoned lawn. Wanting a slice of that sweet EV pie, the appropriately named EV Innovations is our own homegrown equivalent, and the MyKar is a prototype of what could be a Malaysian-made zero emissions city runabout.
Formed as a subsidiary of System Consultancy Services, EV Innovations have been working steadily and rather quietly on the MyKar. It might not look like much at the moment, but the efforts behind it are respectably ambitious. The prototype itself has made public appearances before, albeit in a less polished state, but this is the first time we’ve heard of it actually being tested in the real world.
Unfortunately, EV Innovations have no plans to bring the MyKar to market at any point. Instead, this is merely a technical exploration for their team, finding the advantages and limitations of the technology they have at hand or (theoretically) could develop in-house.
In case you were wondering about the shape, EV Innovations are essentially ripping off a Honda Jazz here. The firm did purchase one earlier to take apart for various other uses, but we have to admit there are few other cars on sale today whose shape lends itself so naturally to the EV form factor, both in terms of packaging and aerodynamics.
Back in March, to prove that the prototype is legitimately up and running, they even set it to drag race a Perodua Myvi - video below. Now, we’ve all seen cars like the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan post blistering drag sprints thanks to their hugely powerful and instantly responsive electric motors, but the MyKar's more modest output of 32hp (or 24kW, 12kW motor on each rear wheel hub) gives it a more leisurely manner.
In the first run, despite the much lower output even in comparison to a Myvi, the MyKar actually recovered quickly from a slower start, overtaking the Perodua as it was losing momentum shifting its gears in the midrange.
On the second recorded run, the MyKar pulled into the lead immediately and stayed there, reaching a top speed of just over 100km/h before slowing down as the end of the airstrip neared. We’re curious just how many of these acceleration ‘tests’ it’s able to perform given its relatively small 10kWh lithium ion battery. EV Innovations claims a typical range of 150km on a full charge, though a 16kWh battery would likely bump that up to 200km.
When can we expect to see it in production? We reckon it will take a while yet but this is a step in the right direction.